French duo Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut advanced to their first final at the ATP Finals on Saturday evening with an entertaining 6-3, 5-7, 10-5 victory over the second seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah.
Herbert served the pair’s third ace to take the first set 6-3 after 33 minutes. But as the second set edged towards a tiebreak, Cabal and Farah fashioned two break points on Mahut’s serve.
The 36-year-old managed to save both of them but could not prevent the Colombians from converting the deciding point to take the set 7-5 and level the match after 84 minutes.
The match tiebreak started badly for the Frenchmen who lost the first two points. But they took command with six consecutive points to lead 6-2.
At 8-5 up, Herbert’s slickly angled backhand volley set up match point and the 27-year-old concluded proceedings with an overhead smash.
The eighth seeds will play the fifth seeded American team of Mike Bryan and Jack Sock who got past Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares 6-3, 4-6, 10-4.
On Friday, in the final match of the round robin stage, Herbert and Mahut thrashed Bryan and Sock 6-2, 6-2 in 52 minutes.
A tougher challenge is predicted in the final on Sunday afternoon. “We will have to play at a good level to beat them,” said Mahut. “They have won Grand Slams at Wimbledon and the US Open.”
“It’s great to be in the final,” added Herbert. “We haven’t had the best of luck in our previous appearances here. We’ll give everything.”